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Book Club Review: Horns


hornsIgnatius Perrish spent the night drunk and doing terrible things. He woke up the next morning with a thunderous hangover, a raging headache . . . and a pair of horns growing from his temples.
Showing that he’s more than Stephen King’s son, Joe Hill writes a masterpiece with this months’ book review. For those of you who have seen the movie, there’s little difference in the general arc of the storyline…
One morning Ignatius Perrish, having recently lost the love of his life Merrin, wakes up to find that he has been transformed overnight. Feverishly hot horns grow on the top of his head and that’s not even the weirdest part! Ig finds that people around him can’t help to tell him their unspeakable thoughts, as if the horns weren’t there at all…and just like the climb to the top of your favourite carnival ride, the journey has just begun!
We are introduced to Ig on the anniversary of his beloved’s death, a murder for which he’s the main suspect. With the anniversary come a wicked hangover and the wicked new horns and no idea as to how he got them. Is it a blessing, is it a curse, well it’s up to Ig to find out.
First reaction, I’m really glad I picked this up! While there are things that are predictable, I still couldn’t look away. Relationships in this story are fraught with sadness and underlying torment and sinister thoughts. The relationship Ig has with his family is one that maybe some of us can relate to, to feel connected but disconnected from the family unit, a situation that would have stayed at such were it not for the horns. It’s clear that Ig craves attention in some way or other from the way he idolises his friend Lee to how he jumps into the arms of Glenna, Ig just can’t handle being alone it would seem. However with the introduction of these horns it seems that that’s all Ig can do.
Predictably enough, the horns bring forth Merrin’s true kills and while Ig tries to come to terms with his new gift, the addictive story unfolds.
Now some of the twists and turns are predictable with a few characters pegged early on but nonetheless, Hill does his best to draw the reader in. Drawing from an earlier point made, a reader might detect some similarities between Hill and his father’s early work; there’s still a long way for Hill to go though.
As well as the easy to read characters the book struggles with what it wants to be. Is it about the dichotomy of Heaven and Hell, Good or Evil, or the destruction that a death can cause a small community or is it just a crime story with the personification of innocent until proven guilty… there is an ongoing effort of trying to pin it down and that was apparent in my reading, but Hill does not need to try. The book captures the emotion of the characters, especially Ig, and feeds Ig’s raw feelings and discoveries to us until we can’t handle any more.
My heart broke for Ig who asked for none of this but gets inherently blamed for everything bad in the world (the world being the small community). Ig and his emotionally raw encounters with all those who behold his horns is what drew me in to this book and it’s   what I found the best, and sometimes the hardest thing to deal with – now that could be because this is not the first emotional roller-coaster read I’ve been on in the past two weeks  but phew it was tough going at times and for the record it’s the first time I’ve ever passed out from reading!
The book, for all its flaws is a fantastic read, the characters the tension and the emotions alone are reason for people to read this book…after all it’s time the devil had his due…
But what were your thoughts? We’d love to hear what you thought of Horns and maybe if you’ve seen the movie how did you compare?
Next month I’ll be reading the highly recommended The Copper Promise by Jen Williams, so be sure to check it out and let us know what you thought of it!